Update From AZ: Giffords' Condition Improves, Loughner Trial Could Be Moved to CA
Well this is undeniably happy news: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson last Sunday, is continuing to show improvement, most recently being upgraded from critical to serious condition. Doctors at Tucson's University Medical Center also say Giffords is now breathing on her own and that recent medical procedures have been "successful and uneventful."
Meanwhile, ten of the twelve additional survivors of last week's shooting have been released from the hospital, with the remaining two listed in good condition.
As mourners of the Arizona shooting held memorial services and a "walk for peace" over the weekend, Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, gave his first interview since the tragedy. Speaking to to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Kelly said he recognizes that Giffords' road to recovery will be long and difficult, though he's optimistic about her future. "[S]he's a really, really tough woman," Kelly said. He also noted that he's open to the idea of meeting Loughner's family. "I'd probably see them. You know, I don't think it's their fault. It's not the parents fault. You know, I'd like to think I'm a person that's, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they've got to be hurting in this situation as much as much as anybody," he told Sawyer. Watch the interview here:
For his part, Loughner may face trial somewhere other than Arizona, according to several news outlets. CNN:
Two federal judicial sources say they expect any trial of accused Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner to be moved out of Arizona, possibly to San Diego, California. Those sources say they anticipate the defense will make a formal motion in coming weeks to move upcoming court proceedings to a neighboring jurisdiction because of pre-trial publicity.
Whether to support a change of venue, a move that has happened rarely in recent years, apparently is an ongoing point of disagreement within the Justice Department, federal sources said. Any final decision would be made by the new chief judge of the federal courts in Arizona, Roslyn Silver....[who] has taken over for Judge John Roll, one of the six victims killed in the Jan. 8 shooting.
Federal sources say Silver -- if asked to move the trial -- would consult with officials of the 9th Circuit, the federal judicial region that includes nine Western states, including Arizona. San Diego, which is in the Southern District of California, is being considered since San Diego-based federal judge Larry Burns has been assigned to preside over the Loughner case.